At Pooley Bridge, Howtown and Glenridding you can get the steamers on a one way journey or round trip. They run throughout the day and cost approx £10 for a round trip (dogs £1 round trip!).
There are indoor and outdoor seats and a bar serving hot/cold drinks.
Be careful on the steamers as the wind blows and makes it a really nice journey but it meant I got a lovely bright red forehead and nose from the sun!
There is a car park just after Pooley Bridge which leads to some nice walks into woodland and also along a stream/into fields.
I can't remember the car park price but I think it's about £4 for up to 4 hours.
Aira Force is a 180 foot drop waterfall across the road from Ullswater. It's a climb uphill to reach it but definately worth the effort! There are plenty of places to stop and dip your toes and equally places to take photos or just sit and watch the day go by.
The car park costs £2.70 for up to 2 hours and more for longer stays. I was there for about 2 and a half hours and took my time.
Right from the water's edge it's really shingly and full of stones which can hamper your attempts to get far...I went to a cheap shop in Penrith and bought some cheap velcro sandals with foam bases (£3.99) and was able to walk right in without any trouble. I also hate the thought of fish around my feet so it solved that problem too! I did see a small school of tiddlers near the edge where the water is really warm but no other fish when I was further in. The fishermen in the next 'cove' were lucky though and caught about 3 fish in an hour (big-ish ones too). Swimming is fine as the boats/canooists tend to stay nearer to the opposite side of the lake. When a steamer goes past there's a few waves which make it feel like you're at the seaside! I visited in July and the water was really lovely, like a warm paddling pool left out all day in the sun!!
There are small fairly secluded coves along the A592 road which lead to the lake. They can be found by looking out for parking bays. The one I liked best was next to a wall leading to a drop before the water's edge. It was past Watermillock but before Aira Force. There are other parking bays which are grassy and lead down to the water further down the road.
Okay we all know that the main reason we go to the lake district is for the scenery and the walking, but I think lots of us are animal lovers too, so when you are aching from all that walking and decide to have an easy day pop up and see the Alpacas near ullswater.
Alpacas are like small Llamas, tha alpaca centre is a working farm, breeding, rearing and selling Alpacas .There is a shop selling goods made from Alpaca wool (pretty expensive, but beautifully soft), upstairs is a gallery full of some beautiful pieces of craft work made from wood and stone-lots of unique pieces, definately worth a look, or if you're feeling flush, treat yourself. while you walk round there is peruvian (the alpacas homeland) pipe music playing so the atmosphere is very chilled out and relaxing.But the best bit is that for the token charge of £1 per person you can get to go outside and see the alpacas- , they are such cuties-well worth a visit particularly if you have small children with you , they will love them.
There is something for everyone here , a shop for mum, tha Alpaca visit for the kids and in the summer months there is apparently a cafe (we went in january -so no cafe), so tea and cake to keep the old man happy!
Slap on some sunscreen and relax out on deck as the steamer sails down Ullswater. Ullswater must surely be the most beautiful of the lakes - more tranquil than Windermere and surrounded by more "interesting" scenery - some towering hills and some delightful lowland pastures. And not a speedboat in sight!
You can take the boat between 3 points, Glenridding, Howtown and Pooley Bridge. Some of the boats go to all three places, some just to Howtown and back. Prices are not especially cheap, but it's a lovely trip.
This is looking back at Side Farm. A very handily placed stopping point, because after 2 1/2 hours of walking, plus lots of stops to swim, eat, take pics, etc etc, you might well be busting for the loo. So you can go here, so long as you buy something in the cafe/tearoom :-0)
Ok, last shot of the trail by the lake and there's still about an hour's walk to do. As you get to the southern end of the lake the trail veers away from the lake a bit and goes behind a camping site at Side Farm. You have to turn right at the farm bulding and go across fields to get to patterdale and then back to Glenridding.
The walk from Howtown to Glenridding takes about 3 hours and is about 6 miles in length. When you arrive at Sandwick, you're about 1/3 of the way around. It would be nice if there was a tearoom or something at Sandwick but there isn't - just some very attriactive looking rental cottages, a stream and this information board! ;-0
This lovely beach is quite far along the way, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours into the walk - I think it is the last bit of "beach" that you pass on this walk.
We didn't go down to this one this time, but it makes a picturesque backdrop to the picture ;-)
Some streams are to big and too fast flowing to ford across and there are bridges over these larger streams. We like the position of this bridge, in a kind of "dingly dell" as we say - a little wooded valley full of light and shadows, and the sounds of rushing water. Another lovely place to stop for a rest.
Loads of streams run down the hillside into the lake. These are always icey cold, even in the height of summer and it's lovely to splash some of that water on your face and neck. I wouldn't be too temped to drink it though, we once found a dead sheep in a stream here :-S
Part of the walk goes through some woodland, particularly towards Sandwick and this gives some welcome shade, as well as being picturesque. This is another good place to rest (out of the sun's rays) if you're getting a bit tired.
Are we in Copenhagen now?
Susan is not a strong swimmer so she didn't fancy going into the lake, but she enjoyed to sunbathe on a rock by the lake. Just being this close to the water makes you feel a bit cooler, and you can always dip your toes in too.